28 March 2009

Random thoughts to share: First, at a craft fair today, there was a youngish mother with a very tight hold of her son’s hand (he was about 5 or 6, maybe even 7 years old.) He was not playing by his mother’s rules and his snifflings and verbal objections grew more frequent and more disruptive until she with her death grip on his hand, towed him out of the room.

I wanted to get up and go after her and tell her about the method I used with my youngest. (It’s called 1-2-3 Magic) It worked rather well for us. What would she have thought/said/felt, if I ran after her with my well-intentioned advice. And who am to offer this advice?

Let’s see. The mother of 5, teacher, advocate, and school system consultant who lectured principals on the positive effects of integrating students with disabilities into the mainstream population of a school. There’s bits and pieces more, if I could remember them at this moment. So, okay, maybe I have a little knowledge to draw from, but still…would speaking up be the right thing to do? Oh why don’t we have any way of teaching people how to be parents, how to discipline, how to reward and love our children?

Second random idea; tabout the Jewish edict not to gossip that I have tried to adhere to for several years. It feels right to live this way, and yet I’ve not succeeded with my family (of birth). So why was I NOT surprised when my younger sister called and left a message congratulating me on finally getting a job (teaching art to children, yeah!), when I had only mentioned it to my mother the day or so before.

You’re questioning why I’m calling this gossip, and no wonder my family finds fault with my rigorous standards of behavior! I keep asking myself why my sister didn’t say; Thanks for sharing the news, but I’ll call and let my sister tell me directly. Why? Things get repeated differently. And mostly because there is a slant in the family dynamics. I don’t get told much-if anything- about them, but they share info about me. The old story, you can only change yourself, not other people.

Third bit of randomness. My youngest son is home again, it’s the end of the month, and at his college, that means he has off. This time it’s also his spring break, so we get him for almost ten days. Yippee! He’s about the most easy-going person around. And fun.

He asked me to teach him how to cook, and when he didn’t argue to cook dinner first night home he did tell me how to make the simple dish, and I’m thrilled. Smart kid.

He’s also absorbed my teachings along with advice from a psychologist, and deals with his older brother in a firm yet empathetic manner. Kinda weird from one standpoint; the one doing the disciplining is eight years younger, but the older one being given instruction is developmentally disabled, and I’m not the fountain of energy I used to be.

At any rate, youngest son and I had a wide-ranging, esoteric discussion the first day and then the following day he thanked me for sharing my thoughts and ideas with him. Wow! Occasionally my other children gratify me in some small way, but youngest son does it more consistently, perhaps better recognizing (than the others) how alone I am, even while living with his brother.

One discussion centered around the fact that I have moved the kids and I several times since THE divorce. Maybe I was trying to find happiness in a place rather than inside myself. Doesn’t matter now. The point is, as I told him, these decisions opened them to new  experiences. I’m not sorry to say we laughed over the freshman in his dorm who is panicking at having to pack and move to a new dorm for sophomore year because until going to college he’s never left one house, one town.

There was a time when youngest son was very worried about going off to college, and where would he go home? Now he recognizes that wherever I am, he can call it home, there’ll be a room and maybe a comfortable bed (ha-ha), and space for his childhood memorabilia. Recalling how my parents held a tag sale to get rid of everything in the family home upon their divorce, including stuff of mine that I was not able to get beforehand, I want him to know, and he does, so all’s right with my world in that regard.

Still thinking about that mother. Should I have run after her? I will probably worry that decision for a few days. To interfere or not to interfere, that is the question.

To end on an upbeat note, I'm leaving you with a fun, colorful and funny little movie I found recently while browsing around various crafter/artistic type blogs. Enjoy!

The Sticky Note Experiment -found on videosift.com